European Labour Market Barometer: still higher than before the crisis despite third damper in a row
In September, the European Labour Market Barometer fell for the third time running, dropping by 0.6 points compared with August to 103.7 points. However, the labour market leading indicator of the European Network of Public Employment Services and the Institute for Employment Research (IAB) is still higher than before the crisis and signals a continued improvement in the labour market situation in the European states.
“After the lockdown was lifted in many countries, the European labour markets showed a speedy recovery. That recovery will continue, but at a somewhat more moderate pace,” reports Enzo Weber, IAB head of forecast.
The European Labour Market Barometer’s sub-indicator for the development of unemployment figures drops by 1.5 points compared to August and stands at 103.1 points in September. The sub-indicator for future employment growth, on the other hand, rose slightly by 0.3 points to 104.3 points. The value for the employment component is now higher than the value for the unemployment component again in several countries, such as Bulgaria, Germany, Austria, Poland, Portugal and Belgium-Wallonia, and therefore on the European Labour Market Barometer as a whole as well. “Before the crisis, it was normal for expectations to be more favourable for employment than for unemployment,” explains Weber.
The European Labour Market Barometer is a monthly leading indicator based on a survey of the local or regional employment agencies in 17 participating public employment services. The survey has been carried out jointly by the employment services and the IAB since June 2018. The participating countries include Austria, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Belgium-DG, Belgium-Flanders, Germany, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Switzerland and Belgium-Wallonia. While component A of the barometer signals the development of the seasonally adjusted unemployment figures for the next three months, component B forecasts employment trends. The average of the components „unemployment“ and „employment“ constitutes the total value of the barometer. This indicator thus provides an outlook on the overall development of the labour market. The scale ranges from 90 (very poor development) to 110 (very good development). First, a barometer score for each of the participating employment services is determined. The European barometer is then derived from these national scores in the form of a weighted average.
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